It may seem a bizarre thing to say but where would we be without photography? Think of how ill-informed and ignorant we’d be without the snapshot image to illustrate the multi-faceted ways of the world. Though we take the photographic image for granted, before 1839 we relied on the eye of the illustrator and his interpretative illustrations to inform and entertain us.
Taschen’s History of photography documents the journey of photography from this pivotal date from pinhole all the way to iPhone by way of the stunning and pertinent images from Kodak founder George Eastman’s collection. An ever expanding library containing over 400,000 images and negatives among them the work of Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, Ansel Adams and others. As well as 23,000 cinema films, five million film stills, one of the most important silent film collections, technical equipment and a library with 40,000 books on photography and film. Though some of the most striking and memorable images are the older sepia/black & white ones, flicking through this hefty compilation is a great way to see just how much the Western world has evolved both in terms of technological advancement and as a society in general. Given the astounding changes that have taken place over this period this book really makes you wonder just how important a part photography has played in creating the world will live in today.
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